“You’re still the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing on my mind before I turn in,” I’ll say.
“What’s the point of it now?” you’ll ask, playing with your engagement ring.
“I’m a dark writer. Sulking is second nature to me,” I’ll say.
And time will once again rewind to the point where it all began.
It’s been several years since we parted ways, but my memories are as luscious as freshly baked bread. I might pretend to be over you, by deleting and blocking your number, butt dialling your number in a drunken haze, crossing over to the other side of the road and not looking at the number of every grey-coloured SUV that passes by. But it has taken me a long, long time to realise that I can only fool the world, not myself. I still remember the way you sleep, all curled up like a baby in a corner of the bed. The soft touch of your sun-kissed locks and how you dry them without fail lest you catch a cold, which you invariably do. Those thinking eyes that see the larger picture, and nothing but the larger picture. Your love for little things: zebra candies, coconut-flavoured Swiss rolls laced with ruby-coloured jam, exotic spirits and unexplored locales. The way you smoke, with such élan, like a great writer or playwright in an existential dilemma. And those few moments, when you love me, without a hint of malice. There are nights when I have such intense dreams, they almost seem like a movie: a pronounced blend of the fragmented past and an uncertain future.
“It’s over now, you’ve clearly moved on,” you’ll say, but I cannot, with all these mind-boggling visions.
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We broke up because there were too many problems in our relationship – financial and emotional – a fatal combination that shattered both of us. I needed you, and you needed the money. What’s worse, I was nursing a tumult within me. It turned me into a whiny, demanding partner teetering on the verge of insanity. And that’s probably the last thing you needed. I was in no mood to understand that even partners needed space to grow, and I stifled you to a point where you no more yearned for my company.
I remember once, when I was in another city, I asked you if you missed me, and you said, “Well, if you allow me to miss you.” That hurt quite a bit. But that was the truth. You eventually got sick of my swelling insecurity and I got fed up of not getting enough of you, and then one day, without second thoughts, I went ahead and broke the bond between us.
I wanted a caring partner and clearly, you were not the one. You were selfish, horrible and indifferent. So I decided to destroy you completely. By getting married to another man, way older than me. More like a guardian. I wanted to show the world that I could be happy without you. And that’s when I destroyed myself.
I wouldn’t doubt his integrity, but he can never be you. Of course I’ll climb mountains with him, cook food that he’ll eat without any complaint and smile when he tucks the stray hair behind my ears, but deep down, I’ll burn. For the reckless revenge, for the closure we never had, for the family I shattered, and for the wife I could never be.
I lost, and I lost miserably, but I have to keep going. I have to drive alone, return to an empty house, pay my own bills, prevent my folks from drifting too far, cry till my ribs crack and smile when I hear your voice in my head.
I spent almost a decade blaming you for everything that went wrong between us. But I don’t anymore. It was just your way of surfing the rough waves, a way I failed to fathom.
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In case you’re still wondering what the point of this rant is, well, there isn’t one. This letter is only because I haven’t written to you in a while, and to let you know that I miss you dearly; from the places to the food. From the gentle, sweet intimacy to the silly squabbles. My eyes will look for you in the madding crowd and someday, the crowd will part, the chaos will settle and we’ll lock ourselves in a surreal embrace. That’s probably when we’ll know why ‘we’ never healed.